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Did He Really Say That?

Today I broaden the challenge by making this pledge: The United States is ready to eliminate all tariffs, subsidies and other barriers to free flow of goods and services as other nations do the same. This is key to overcoming poverty in the world's poorest nations. It's essential we promote prosperity and opportunity for all nations.

-- George W. Bush

When Government Works

While FEMA's incompetence has been documented in all corners of the media, few outlets have reported the success of rescue operations. The death toll is a lot lower than expected, and this article by Lou Dolinar describes the things that went right during Katrina's aftermath.

Virtual Economies Become Real

Mike Musgrove writes in the WaPo about the growth of markets for video game goods. Game companies have been, for the most part, against such markets but are starting to accept their inevitability and are creating their own markets.

Related post: Video Game Economics

Taking Responsibility

George W. Bush has taken responsibility for the failures of the federal government's response to Hurrican Katrina.

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government, and to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do it's job right, I take responsibility," Bush said.

Quote Of The Day

States Aren\'t People

In the comments below, David Rossie writes:

The real question is: where does Iraq NOT fit in such a definition? I could not take over my neighbor’s house, change the family structure, break stuff and then pay my friends to fix it without exerting political and economic power over him. Even if I promise to walk away after several years or devise a “transition head of the household.” What makes an entire country any different?


This week's Carnival of the Capitalists is up at Crossroads Dispatches.

This week's Carnival of Liberty is up at Target Centermass.

American \"Empire\"

Max Borders distinguishes between the so-called US "Empire" and empires of the past. I have to shake my head when I see people describe US foreign policy as part and parcel of an "empire".

Becoming An American

Alex Tabarrok on becoming an American:

But the deciding factor in my choice was emotional. Four years ago when I awoke to the devastation, I felt that my country had been attacked. And if that is how you feel then what more needs to be said?

Systematic Errors

Paul Krugman blames the failure of FEMA on Bush. He goes on to blame the behavior of other government agencies such as the FDA, EPA, and CPB on Bush. As usual, he fails to realize the systematic factors behind government incompetence, believing that if only the right people were charge, things would be different. Like Brad DeLong, he believes in the Intelligent Design theory of government. Read more »

Ineptitude Begets Ineptitude

Earlier this week, Radley Balko wrote a Foxnews column on the US government's response to Septemeber 11 in creating a massive bureaucracy that failed at all levels to respond appropriately following hurricane Katrina. It featured a quote by my co-blogger Nick Weininger. You can read the whole thing here.

Evolving Library Social Norms

At the end of the week, I will take the Mother of All Exams, Part I. For the past month or so, I've been in intense preparation. My two main venues are coffee shops and university libraries, each offering unique experiences. Read more »

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

Apparently, our comments aren't working. Bear with us.

Great Expectations

While this is largely off-topic for this blog, I know a lot of Virginia Tech football fans read this blog, and since I don't have a personal blog, I'm posting this here. Anyone not interested is free to ignore this post.

Things are never as bad as they seem, nor as good as they seem, as Frank Beamer likes to say. His words were never truer than they have been during the last two years. In the summer of 2003, Virginia Tech saw its athletic history pass before its eyes when the Atlantic Coast Conference left it out of its initial expansion plans. It meant permanent relegation to second-class status in the world of college athletics. Things were looking pretty bad. Yet, with the help of some political maneuvering of the most unlikely of bedfellows, VT somehow managed to avoid the implosion of its entire athletic department by being included in the final expansion plans. It was a photo finish, the outcome uncertain till the end. Forty years of wandering as nomads in the desert of college athletics finally ended with a rightful place in the promised-land of the ACC. Read more »

A Picture Is Worth...

A picture of New Orleans school buses taken September 1, 2005 from Yahoo photos found via Hit and Run: